As Bhabanipur gears up to witness high-voltage polling on September 30, the BJP has lined up dozens of star campaigners who will conduct door-to-door interactions, open air meetings and street plays from September 20-27 to ‘highlight the misrule, post poll violence’ of TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee.
The bypoll will be held on September 30 and the counting of votes will be on October 3 for an election which is crucial for Banerjee in order to remain chief minister of Bengal.
Though BJP has lined up 20 leaders, including those from West Bengal and other states who will campaign back-to-back in the area, special poll preparation strategies were planned for Smriti Irani (Minister of Women and Child Development in the Union Cabinet), Manoj Tiwari (politician, singer and actor serving as the MP from North East Delhi), Hardeep Singh Puri (Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas and Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs) and Syed Shahnawaz Hussain (national BJP spokesperson and Central Election Committee (CEC) member of the party).
All of them will campaign for BJP candidate Priyanka Tibrewal, who is an advocate by profession. While Puri, Irani and Hussain will focus on consolidating the Marwari, Gujarati, Sikh and Minority voters, Manoj Tiwari will concentrate on Biharis and voters from Uttar Pradesh. Another star campaigner, Dinesh Trivedi, will also play an important role in guiding the central leaders to hit the right chord to make a favourable situation for their candidate Priyanka Tibrewal.
The other star campaigners like Babul Supriyo, Agnimitra Paul, Roopa Ganguli, Suvendu Adhikari and Locket Chatterjee will focus on the wards mainly dominated by the Bengali residents. It was learnt that each leader will have two events to address key issues which are creating hurdles before the development of Bengal.
Close analysis (reference from the state assembly) of 159 Bhabanipur assembly constituency revealed that the majority of voters are Hindus, nearly 83.2 per cent. Further break-up suggested that out of 83.2 per cent Hindus, nearly 16 per cent are Marwaris, 1.5 per cent are Sikh, 2.5 per cent Gujaratis and the rest 63.2 percent are Hindu Bengalis.
When asked about the itinerary of star campaigners from Delhi, chairman of the BJP’s campaigning committee for Bhabanipur, Rudranil Ghosh, said: “The final itinerary of the central leaders is yet to be finalised but as of now they will be campaigning one by one from September 20. The final schedules will be issued by September 17.”
On the key issues the BJP will highlight before the voters, he said: “Our campaign will focus on post-poll violence, problems faced by the trader’s community due to cut money and syndicate raj, unemployment issue, contractual teacher’s issue, lack of industrialisation policy, women’s safety, Covid-19 vaccination scam and politicisation of bureaucracy and administration.”
He added, “No traders will openly make any comments against the ruling party in Bhabanipur because they fear that they will be harassed by the local leaders. The ruling party is knee-deep in malpractice and they have crossed all limits of high handedness. One has to shell money as a bribe to get their work done in Bengal. We will highlight all. The star campaigners will expose why this election for Mamata Banerjee is just to save her chair while for Priyanka this is a fight to save Bengal from TMC’s misrule.”
Ghosh said: “The star campaigners will highlight people’s suffering due to blocking of central schemes by Mamata Banerjee. We will tell the ward residents how the state Chief Minister is fooling people by changing the name of the welfare schemes launched by our Prime Minister Narendra Modi.”
This time, due to the pandemic, the EC has restricted public meetings to 30 per cent of the allowed capacity or 200 persons in case of indoor meeting (whichever is less).
In case of meetings in open space, the gathering has been restricted to 50 per cent of the total ground capacity. No road-shows, no motor/bike/cycle rallies will be allowed.
“This is the reason we have decided to campaign in small groups each day from September 20 onwards to have maximum reach with maximum impact. In case of open-air meetings, we will make sitting arrangements only in the 50 per cent of the open area,” state BJP president, Dilip Ghosh said while adding that appeasement politics of Mamata Banerjee will also be highlighted before the ward residents.
“We will question the residents – why will they vote for Mamata Banerjee who fled to Nandigram to contest, fearing her defeat from Bhabanipur? We will question them why they will vote for a leader whom the people rejected in Nandigram,” Ghosh said.
The party leaders will also have street plays to spread the achievements of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and failure of Mamata Banerjee.
With inputs from News18